He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not

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Willow hurried through the commons, her eyes blurred with unshed tears. She ran into a fellow student, falling back and dropping her books. She hastily apologized, kneeling and picking her stuff up. She sighed, getting to her feet. *Stop this Willow. You are acting crazy* she scolded herself, moving to sit on one of the numerous benches scattered around the grounds. She sat down, putting her books beside her. She couldn't believe she had run away like she had. Acting like a little child. No wonder he couldn't stand her. She closed her eyes briefly, trying to forget the evening that had just unfolded. She leaned back against the bench, remembering suddenly where she was as she opened her eyes. The benches were great during the day, giving students a place to rest and study. But, at night, they were an open invitation to any vampires wandering by. She looked around to make sure no one looked evil, relieved to see that the commons were practically deserted. She felt something brush against the back of her leg and peered down, smiling as she saw the small wild flower. She picked it from the ground, bring it to her face and inhaling the sweet scent. She eyed the petals, a nostalgic smile crossing her face. She chewed her bottom lip for several moments before she smiled, picking the first petal.

"He loves me" she said softly, letting the petal drift to the ground.

Spike had been helping them for nine months now. He had become part of their group, much to his annoyance. He had helped them more times than she could remember since he had realized that the implant was not going anywhere. Buffy was his way of surviving, so he had adapted. Over the months, Willow had slowly started to fall in love with him. Who was she kidding? Slowly? It had hit her with the force of a Mack truck. Before, even when he had been evil, big bad Spike, she had had a crush on him. After she had been allowed a chance to get to know him, well the crush had turned into something far more meaningful and far more frightening. There were times, rare times, that she almost could swear she saw something in his eyes when he looked at her, but it usually wasn't there when she took the second look.

"He loves me not" she whispered softly, watching this petal join the others.

That one was easier to believe. He was Spike. Why on Earth would he ever so much as look at her much less fall in love with her? She knew he could love. Part of the initial attraction had been because he cared so deeply about Drusilla. He may not have a soul, but his ability to love far outweighed most humans she knew. He was gorgeous and charming and smart and funny and experienced and sexy as sin. She was just plain little Willow, the net girl. The net girl that played with magic that she couldn't understand. The shy, sort of cute at times, self conscious babbling kid that annoyed him so much. Yes, she could believe he didn't love her.

"He loves me" she said, not knowing the slight flicker of hope that entered her pretty green eyes as she pulled that petal off. Letting it fall, she smiled softly.

They had become friends of sorts. He often listened to her when everyone else was busy with their own lives. He had even saved her a couple of times, once when she was out walking alone. She had been trapped and he had appeared from out of the shadows, killing the vampire before shrugging off her thanks and disappearing into the night. She still couldn't believe how lucky she had been that he was wandering by that night. She knew he didn't like any of them, but he would talk to her while he ignored the others. She had sat with him many an evening just talking about their pasts or general things that made them both smile. He had such a great smile. His true smile. Not the 'I'm a bad ass vampire and love torturing people' smile. Of course, that one too would send shivers through her body as she imagined it on his face right before he would slide deep inside her, touching places that Oz had only dreamed about. She sighed softly, looking at the flower.

"He loves me not" she said, rubbing her thumb over the petal before dropping it.

He had started to push her away the past month. Their late night talks had ended. The few times she would see him, he would either ignore her or lash out at her. She knew he was feeling irritated about the implant. It was so hard for him. She also knew if it hadn't been for the implant she would be dead....never having a chance to get to know him. Remembering his sexy smile that first night he had come into her room, his husky words as he had told her to choose....she wondered if he had been serious. Would he have changed her? She frowned as she leaned against the bench, remembering the few times they had spoken lately. He had been so mean, cruel almost. And it was always just to her. He was often mean to the others, but the sheer cruelty had been new. His words hurt her more than he could ever guess. But, still her feelings remained, drawing her deeper with every passing day.

"He loves me" the petal fell to the ground.

She thought back to that night almost a month ago and smiled softly. They had taken patrol for Buffy so she could meet Riley's parents who had flown in from Iowa. It had been an uneventful evening, finding only a couple of newbie vamps. Then it had started to rain. They had laughed as they ran through the cemetery, the cold rain soaking them as it fell. They had finally made it to his crypt, the place he had stayed before finally committing to an apartment. Shaking from the cold, Willow had turned to face him, her smile fading as she saw the pure hunger in his eyes as he had looked at her. She hadn't known what to do, shocked at seeing desire and something more in those blue eyes. She had barely been able to form a thought as he had pulled her to him, his mouth ravaging hers. She remembered kissing him back with every bit of desire and love she felt for him. It could have been seconds, minutes or hours that they stood dripping water onto the cold floor of the crypt, making love with their mouths. She could still remember him suddenly pushing her away, falling to the floor on her butt as he ran a hand through his hair, his eyes tinged with yellow as he cursed and kicked the door, his back as he had left her returning to the rain filled night. That had been the beginning to the end, in her eyes. But, that kiss....

"He loves me not" the petal drifted to join the growing pile at her feet.

Since then, he had barely spoken to her. The next time she had seen him, he had lashed out calling her names and voicing several of her insecurities. She had turned from him in tears, vowing that she hated him with every fiber of her being. She was lying to herself. Even cruel, she loved him. It was all a part of him....a part of what made him him. But, he hated her. That was the only thing she could think of to explain his change towards her. He hated her and hated having kissed her. He probably wished he had kissed someone like Anya or Buffy. Someone pretty and amusing and vivacious. Not her. He would never want to kiss her. She was just fooling herself by even dreaming about it.

Willow looked at the flower, almost wanting to cheat and count ahead. She knew too well how this would end though. He didn't love her. She didn't know why she had even started this stupid game. She must be a glutton for punishment was the only reasoning she could come up with. She sighed softly, reaching for the next petal. She gasped when a hand covered hers. She looked up into blue eyes as Spike took the flower from her shaking hand. He glanced at her before looking back at her. He smiled sheepishly as he plucked the remaining petals as one. "He loves you" he said softly, letting the petals drift to join the others at her feet as he leaned over and caught her mouth with a tender kiss.